It's going to be a lengthy clean-up.
Crews have started the tedious task of assessing the damage left over from the heavy rains that whipped through northern Vancouver Island over the weekend.
In Port Hardy, heavy rains inundated the region, triggering flooding in homes and on roads. “A lot of the flooding is draining off,” said RCMP Sgt. Phil Lue.
The rain began hammering the region of nearly 4,500 people on Friday and continued until late Saturday afternoon. It's been a wash-out for the community, with over 180 mm of rain falling. The mayor issued a temporary state of emergency, but it has since been called off.
The emergency shelter that was opened in a local civic centre has been closed. Four out of the five roads that were closed have been re-opened and the power has been restored to thousands of households.
The Weather Network's meteorologist Patrick Cool says these waves of stormy weather are thanks to an onshore flow. “The jet stream is carrying moisture from the south Pacific and causing it to collide with the coastal mountains. This forces the air to rise and produce precipitation,” says Cool.
Despite the fact the water is draining, it was a dramatic weekend for residents. Steven Waugh, the emergency program co-ordinator for the Central Coast Regional District said, “it was shocking, absolutely shocking how much water has come down here in such a short period of time.” There were no reports of any injuries because of the flooding.
The powerful rains also set off a mudslide on Friday in Port Alice, about 45 minutes from Port Hardy. Access has been blocked to a local pulp mill by a wall of mud. Before the mess can be cleaned up, it has to be examined by officials to determine if there's a risk of further slides.
A man that was living in a cabin behind the mill has been airlifted to safety, while others were reluctant to get in the helicopter. According to police, up to three people waved off help. Search and rescue operations plan on entering the region on Sunday to try and remove the stranded people.
Meanwhile, about 75 of the 100 residents of the Tsawataineuk First Nation were airlifted on Saturday evening to Alert Bay, where they were offered people places to stay. Staris to the front of homes buckled under the pressure of the rising water levels. Additionally, septic tanks were damaged and sewage in the water was seeping into homes. With the cleanup process underway, officials believe it will be a difficult process because of the reserve's remote location.
It's not over yet, as another low is set to bring more rain to the region.
With files from Lisa Varano and The Canadian Press